Q&A: Getting to know Anthony Ampaipitakwong
Anthony Ampaipitakwong isn't short on personality, as SJEarthquakes.com discovered.
The latest Quakes addition chopped it up with us on Friday. Among the highlights: He's an active Tweeter (See: @AnthonyAmpai and look for a TwitPic of an alligator), his father was born in Thailand and his last name translates to "beautiful family protector."
Quakes fans hope this former Akron midfielder can bring a beautiful array of skills offensively while protecting the defensive third as well. Read on to find out more:
SJEarthquakes.com: First thing's first: How do you pronounce your last name and what's your nickname?
Anthony Ampaipitakwong: My last name is pronounced Am-PIE-pitak-won. Just like its spelled (laughs).
SJEQ: Ampai it is. What do you know about the San Francisco Bay Area? Ever been out here before?
AA: I have never been in the Bay Area but I have heard many great things.
SJEQ: California Tip No. 1: Leave the snow shovel in Ohio. How's the weather in Akron these days?
AA: I'll be glad to leave my snow shovel. Akron is 22 degrees right now and there is snow covering everything. Just imagine the north pole and you got Akron.
SJEQ: Last year Jon Busch was told he would never see rain when he got to California and then it poured for the first two weeks he was here. Please don't bring the rain with you. So, have you finished your degree at Akron? What are you studying?
AA: (Laughs) If I bring some snow, I'll personally shovel it off anyone's driveway. I have not finished my degree yet. I still have another semester left and I am majoring in Sports Management with a minor in Business.
SJEQ: Were you roommates with any of your Zips teammates who were drafted on Thursday?
AA: I was roommates on the road with Steve Zakuani before he was drafted to Seatle. And this year my roommate was Darlington Nagbe. Two great players and awesome people.
SJEQ: Which former-teammate are you looking forward to competing against most at the MLS level?
AA: I'm excited to play against Darlington because we became close friends this past year and he has done so well for himself. And there might be a little smack talk between us (laughs).
SJEQ: Better in the kitchen: You or Perry Kitchen?
AA: Oh that is me for sure! I'm top chef in the kitchen and on the grill. My favorite food to make is Thai, red curry.
SJEQ: Seriously though, what kinda cuisine suits your taste? Your dad was Thai - do you dig the peanut sauce?
AA: I LOVE Thai food and that peanut sauce is greatness! I could put peanut sauce on every meal and be fine. Maybe not that far, but it still is great.
SJEQ: Let's talk some soccer. What style of play do you bring to the Quakes?
AA: If you look at my college career, I'm a rhythm/possession player and at the right time I attack. I like to link up with players and find space for myself to penetrate. But don't think I'm all about the attack. I'm very honest on defense and get scrappy.
SJEQ: Is there a player you model your game after?
AA: I love to watch Xavi from Barcelona. The way he reads the game and knows where everyone is on the pitch is unbelievable. He always keeps the ball rolling and finds space for himself, you can see why Barcelona is the most attractive team in the world.
SJEQ: How much do you know about the San Jose Earthquakes?
AA: I know San Jose was one of the first clubs to start in MLS, and in 2008 came back as an expansion team. There's a little background. I know we are a very young team with a lot of talent and that is great for the development.
SJEQ: Are you a gamer? Last season rookie Steven Beitashour took home the team title in FIFA. Think you can hang?
AA: I am a gamer. I play XBox 360 and have some FIFA skills.
SJEQ: Call of Duty: Black Ops or FIFA?
AA: That is a tough choice, but I have to be honest and say I play a lot of Call of Duty.
SJEQ: What should your player rating in FIFA be? It's gotta be pretty cool to have your name in a video game, huh? Livin' the American dream...
AA: I've always dreamed of being in a video game and the day I see my last name on a jersey will be one of the best moments. Maybe they can give me some extra height in FIFA (laughs)?
SJEQ: Cheers! Thanks and see you on the pitch in a few weeks.
AA: Looking forward to it!